OneRepublic’s album One Night In Malibu puts a live spin on well-known favorite songs



The silhouette of the band looking over a cliff in Malibu, California.

My first concert was OneRepublic, with one of my really close friends at the time. I can still remember it so clearly—the disco ball shimmering from the top of the Van Andel Arena ceiling, the pyrotechnics bursting from each end of the stage every so often, and of course, the incredible vocals of the band. 

As a fifth-grader having never experienced the atmosphere of such a spectacular show, I noted that listening to an artist from a speaker is no match for any performance in person, music blasting from the stage. 

So, when OneRepublic released an album on February 4, 2022, I was expecting new music. However, I realized that instead of new songs, they gathered all the songs that they performed live in the fall and stuck them in one album labeled One Night In Malibu

On October 27 and 28 of 2021, the band put on a performance in Malibu, California—hence the name of the new album—through a livestream via Moment House. The purpose of this unique event was to celebrate the release of their latest album, “Human,” which was released earlier that year. 

The album encases seventeen songs representing all of the band’s success over their musical careers, but they aren’t studio recordings we’ve all heard before. They are live versions of the songs, the same ones they performed at the live event. So, if you happened to miss the actual live stream performance like me, this album is a different way to still hear the well-rehearsed favorites in a live style. 

Listening to many of the songs that I experienced in concert once again in the same live style definitely reminded me of being in the same room as the band about seven years ago, feeling the atmosphere of the music. 

Listening to many of the songs that I got the chance to experience in concert once again in the same live-style definitely reminded me of being in the same room as the band about seven years ago, feeling the atmosphere of the music. 

Just to see if I could truly tell the difference between the live and studio version of the songs, I went back and listened to the studio ones. I can confirm that the live versions pack much more passion into them compared to the studio recorded songs. Playing the songs live allowed the artists to play their songs how they wanted to—there are different pauses in certain lines, softer melodies, and improvised sections that make the songs their own, more of their own than they already are. 

“I Lived” has always been one of my favorite songs by OneRepublic, and the live version certainly did it justice. The chorus was slower and seemed more nostalgic, which was fitting as the song is about how you lived your best life and did all that you wished to. 

I could tell the band members were really taking their time with each word of this song initially released in 2013, as they seemed to be reminiscing over their incredibly successful years of music. 

Keeping with the theme of being slower and purposeful, the song “Counting Stars” exemplified how you should live for the things that make you feel alive. They sounded like they had a lot of fun performing this one, putting some twists on the tone and overall, further emphasizing the meaning of the song. 

I think anyone who has seen a phenomenal performance from a musical group in concert can agree with me when I say that the live versions are always better, and this live OneRepublic album provides listeners with a similar concert sound that is slightly spicier than the studio version.